When you move house, it’s common to have your mail forwarded to your new address. Things are no different in the online world, and domain forwarding is much the same concept as mail forwarding.
To forward a domain, you simply set up a rule that when someone visits a particular domain name, they will be redirected to a website at a different domain name. You do have to be the owner of the domain name that will be redirected to do this, but you don’t necessarily need to own the domain that it is forwarding to. It is better to own both however, as certain issues may arise otherwise.
Domain forwarding is quite easy. The specific steps may change depending on the site ofyour domain registrar, but the basic idea is the same. For example, on the Freeparking website all you have to do is:
Note that the forwarding process doesn’t always happen immediately for all registrars, with some requiring a few hours for the changes to take effect.
A 301 redirect is used if you’d like to let a search engine know that the domain in question will be permanently redirected to the new site, as this ensures that the search engines index the new site properly.
This type of redirection helps if you’d like the SEO efforts (usually called SEO juice) from the previous site to also be transferred to the new site.
This is also known as temporary web forwarding. This method is the preferred option if you are likely to change your forwarding options in the near future. This type of redirect tells the search engine to keep checking the domain.
This type of redirect will prevent the proper indexing of the new site since it’s considered temporary. If you’re not sure which option to go for, it is better to use 301 redirects.
Forwarding without Masking
When you’re redirecting your visitors to a new site, forwarding without masking means that when the visitors land on the new page, the new page’s correct URL will be displayed on their address bar.
Forwarding with Masking
In this case, when your visitors are redirected to a new URL, their address bar will still display the URL that they had originally put into the address bar. This means that the visitors will not know that they are on a different site.
Domain forwarding seems like it can be a rather messy process because it involves users starting at one point and ending up elsewhere. Wouldn’t it make more sense to have the right domain right from the beginning?
Whilst it would be best to have visitors using the correct domain name, there are many different scenarios where this may not be feasible.
Many websites have a mobile friendly version nowadays. Since people may be switching from these mobile devices to their PCs and vice versa, they may not want to memorize both versions of the URL. The solution to this is to have the user redirected to the site that suits their device.
The same process is done with websites that have different versions for different geographical areas.
Domain forwarding provides a quick and efficient way of getting your site visitors to where you need them. For whatever reason you are using domain forwarding, getting your visitors where they need to be can have a great impact on your business.
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